Thanks to Covid-19 bread making is making a comeback! I’ve never seen so many loaves of bread in my Facebook feed! This French Loaf is my recommendation for a versatile everyday bread.
This recipe is super easy. There is no need for special tools or bread pans. It comes together quickly and easily by hand. The recipe is so fool proof that my three little kids can make it! In fact, the picture here has three loaves, each made by one of my boys.
This bread might be the only bread recipe you’ll ever need. It’s incredibly versatile. You can also shape it according to your personal taste.
Toast it for breakfast. Use it for sandwiches at lunch. Roll our thin like a baguette to serve with charcuterie. Or, serve hot from the oven along side soup or stew for dinner. When it starts to go dry, use it for french toast or dice and toast for croutons.
The only thing you’ll need is yeast, flour and pantry staples including oil, salt and sugar. And, of course, time. This bread will need to rise twice. First in a bowl for an hour and then again for half an hour after you shape the loaf.
If you can’t be bothered kneading, you can try this No Knead Rustic Bread instead, but it’s not as versatile.
Want to switch it up? Follow the directions to the part where you roll out before forming the loaf. Sprinkle with grated cheddar for yummy cheese bread or with cinnamon, sugar and raisins for something sweet. I generally like a lot of anything extra, so I add when I first stretch out before the fold and then again before rolling up.
Want to know the best part? Unlike other breads, this French Loaf can be sliced while warm without sacrificing the texture. So, if you’re like me, and can’t resist the smell of fresh bread, you can safely slather with butter and dive right in!
French Loaf, the only bread you'll ever need
- 1 CUP WARM WATER
- 1/2 TSBP QUICK RISE YEAST
- 1 TBSP SUGAR
- 3/4 TSP SALT
- 1 TSBP Canola Oil
- 2+ CUPS FLOUR
- Add water, yeast and sugar to a large bowl. Let stand for 2-3 minutes to let the yeast bloom.
- Add salt, oil and one cup of flour and mix well with a spoon.
- Add one more cup of flour and mix with hands until dough comes together. If it is still sticky, add spoonfuls of flour one at a time until you can form a ball without it sticking to your hands.
- Turn out onto a counter an knead by hand until dough is smooth and elastic (when you poke it, the dough should spring back to form).
- Lightly oil your bowl and add the dough back into the bowl. Cover with a towel and let rise for one hour until it has doubled in size.
- Turn out onto a counter and stretch into a rectangle then fold in half. Stretch again into a rectangle the length of the loaf you'd like to make. Roll up and pinch ends to seal.
- Place seam side down on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Let rise again for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Bake for 30 minutes until nice and brown.